Fortaleza will host the first of the second round of group stage matches as group A treads on another course with hosts Brazil facing Mexico. Both teams have registered wins in their previous matches, Brazil against Croatia and Mexico against Cameroon, and a positive result for either team could see them become the first team to make it to the knockout rounds.
Things are likely to remain same for Brazil and Luis Felipe Scolari after his team responded spectacularly to an early setback against Croatia. A 4-2-3-1 with one of the more fluid attacking midfields in the tournament as Neymar, Oscar and Hulk will again look to interchange places and trouble the Mexicans.
Mexico will go for more of the same too, and coach Miguel Herrera will again look for inspiration from Giovani dos Santos as they look to upset the mighty Brazilians. Oribe Peralta will once again spearhead the attack, the match winner against Cameroon is doing a great job displacing Javier Hernandez from the starting XI.
Mexico’s three-man defence v Brazil’s fluid attack
A three man defence against Brazil’s only one out-and-out striker seems odd, but with Fred’s support cast in the brilliant Oscar and Neymar, Mexico could least afford to think that marking Fred means stopping Brazil. The Rafael Marquez-led defence will face its sternest test yet, as they come up against a hungry Brazil attack looking for blood.
Miguel Layun v Dani Alves
It could well be the battle between two flying full-backs that could determine the outcome of the match. Mexico left wing-back Miguel Layun hit his stride and had a brilliant game against Cameroon, and will be one of Mexico’s chief attacking outlets. While Dani Alves is one of the best right-backs around, it will be a test for Layun to stop Alves and make his darting, deep runs forward. If he does manage to put Alves in his pocket, Mexico could ask quite a few questions of the hosts.
A Brazil win looks more likely although Mexico won’t just throw in the towel. Both teams will look to cash in their chance of making it to the knockouts as quickly as possible, but Brazil’s quality and the home support on their back will be enough for a comfortable victory. A 3-0 victory or more could be on the cards.